We’re Exploring: Winstar World Casino

Gary and Pacino

Not something I thought I would ever be excited to say….but yes, Thursday night we found ourselves an hour an a half up I35 just on the other side of the Oklahoma boarder at Winstar World Casino (they call it the “world casino” because the room the size of several football fields is sectioned off with different city themes, however I didn’t understand why the Italian restaurant was in Madrid, or why there were statues of the Greek Gods in London) for quite an adventurous few days.

Why?  Al Pacino…on stage at Winstar for one night only…with none other than my love leading the interview.  In Gary’s 25 years of movie reviews and interviews of hundreds of actors, Al Pacino was one who he never got a one on one with.  Pacino just didn’t do them…so Friday night was the prime opportunity for Gary to ask everything he could have ever wanted to ask the incredible Pacino, in front of a crowd of 2000.

Like a little kid excited for the first day of school, or a quarterback excited to play in the conference championship, my well prepared Gary took the stage with this American icon for two hours of in-depth conversation on everything from growing up without a father, to how Pacino felt when Scarface didn’t receive the acclaim it should have, to how after The Godfather Pacino no longer had to try to be friends with people, people just wanted to be around him because he was famous.   With great eloquence and sincerity Pacino pointed out the odd fact of the world we live in today where kids grow up and want to be famous, they don’t know what it is they will do to be famous, just that they aspire to be famous.  Very odd indeed.

The highlight for many, including myself, was a half hour stand up of the actor simply acting, and showing this Thackerville, Oklahoma crowd what it is to be great.  Reciting monologues from Shakespeare and Tennessee Williams and David Mamet the 70 year old Pacino connected with his audience and for me, as I sat in my front row seat in awe of this masterful actor, I saw what it truly is to be famous.

Afterwards, as we ate take out pizza on paper plates from the Italian spot in the middle of Madrid, sipping an incredible bottle of 1997 Stag’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon with some friends that had driven up for the show, I sat in almost silence; what can you really say after something so special, from someone so amazing.

I did muster a few comments…man that was a great show, and man….that was a great bottle of wine.



  1. Watching Al Pacino rant and rave about how he was almost fired from, “The Godfather,” because the producers thought he was too short and too inexperienced was breath-taking. I know, I was right there when he started dropping the “F-Bombs.”


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